In case you missed it last night: Joy Harjo’s Inaugural Reading as U.S. Poet Laureate; Poetry at the 2019 Brooklyn Book Festival

Joy Harjo, Poet Laureate of the United States. Photo by Shawn Miller, Library of Congress.

“Way way back: Music, poetry and dance came into the world together. Sometimes they get lonely for each other.” Joy Harjo during her Inaugural Reading



Joy Harjo gave her inaugural reading as the 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress last night. Here it is in case you missed it. (One-and-three-quarters hours. You might want to bookmark it for later.) It is an understated event, nothing Hollywood about it, which was refreshing and a relief from the usual broadcast noise. Harjo filled her presentation with history, a sense of place, and music as well as poetry.

Harjo accepted the award on behalf of herself, of course, but also on behalf of tribal women/indigenous women everywhere. A member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, she is the first Native American to serve as U.S. Poet Laureate.

“Every poem has a poem ancestor.” Joy Harjo during her Inaugural Reading


Poetry at the 2019 Brooklyn Book Festival

 

The Brooklyn Book Festival is the largest free literary event in New York City, presenting an array of literary stars and emerging authors who represent the exciting world of literature today.

Participating poets include: Hala Alyan, Jericho Brown, Tina Chang, Nick Flynn, Rigoberto González, Ilya Kaminsky, Edgar Kunz, Sally Wen Mao, Ladan Osman, Jake Skeets, Sally Wen Mao, Vanessa Angélica Villarreal, and Keith Wilson.

Drop by the Academy of American Poets booth (#321) at Brooklyn Borough Hall to pick up copies of Volumes 55 and 56 of American Poets magazine, purchase American Poets Prize–winners’ books for $5 each, and peruse discounted items from the Poets Shop. For more information about Academy events at the Festival, VISIT HERE.


ABOUT 

Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! , September * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

“you buy we fry” . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt; Roald Dahl and His Writing Hut

Newstand Chapbook illustration by J.C. Leyendecker circa 1899

The women and men at their devices …
In fine Whitmanesque publishing tradition
Put out newfangled electronic edition
A word symphonic record to leave behind
Carefully tweaked, tempered and timed
Baring witness to love, history, and crime
All good-natured, well-reasoned, and rhymed
© 2016, Jamie Dedes



And the week flies by and we find ourselves at Tuesday again, the wonderful day when we share poems submitted by diverse writers in response the last Wednesday Writing Prompt. Everyone Should Have a Chair, September 11, a peaceful suggestion this time around asking poets to tell us about their favorite spot in which to write. A modest collection today courtesy of Jason Muckley, Paul Brookes, mm brazfield, Sheila Jacob, Urmila Mahajan, Sonja Benskin Mesher, and Pali Raj.  Along the same theme, I’ve added a short seven minute documentary featuring Roald Dahl and his writing hut.

Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, which will post tomorrow morning.


The Mountain

The mountain calls
Draws me to her slopes
Overlooking the world below
Above, my perspective changed
The solitude is freedom
A peace and rest
To forgive
Begin again
Mind clear of every expectation
My thoughts flow
Responding to the mountain

© 2019, Jason A. Muckley 

Jason’s site is Poems for Warriors

JASON MUCKLEY: I have been writing since childhood and I self-published my first collection of poetry in July 2018. Writing is both a hobby and a way to express myself that I don’t find in any other facet of life. It is something I truly love but also I feel like the more I write, the more I have to write.

My first self-published book is called “Poems for Warriors,” and it is available on Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.

When I am not writing, I work full-time as a Project Manager. I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I am also a father of three.

Jason says of his poetry collection: “We are at war. Life is a battle. Every day we fight for joy, peace… love. This is correspondence from the frontlines. Exploring themes of the struggle, love, and change, this book of poetry will take the reader through the ups and downs of life. The reader will journey through the exhilaration and challenges of being in love, of working through difficulty in a relationship, and reflecting on what you have and what it costs. The reader will descend into the pain and trials faced day in and day out. The reader will see the clouds breaking as the morning dawns and everything begins to change. This book is the story of one man’s life, similar to a life lived by millions as he tries to make sense of the constant battle that surrounds him.”


we buy you fry

my favorite chair
are the sidewalks
those in the 20’s and 30’s
edge of downtown streets
a mix of rustic houses
shacks and alley ways
some with flowers
some with trash
my favorite chair
is not comforting at first
it affords me front row view
to the less palatable aspects
of genteel society
exposed vaginas cocks
twisted tongues
defecation out of
hundreds of orifices
then there’s the strip mall chair
with the upright and honest
vendor my favorite one
is Donicio from Panama
he has a way of telling
funny stories
across from there
is another chair
‘you buy, we fry’
it’s mostly busy
on the sabbath
my eyes their
veils of formal education
lifted and the life of life
exposed to all my senses
there is something thrilling
about hopscotching through
dog shit in a city
that treats us all the same
my favorite chair
in the bars of the people
although people aren’t
what they used to be
my amiga Casimira
has the latest I Phone
when i want to look in to
her deep brown eyes
and have her Oaxacan accent
transport me to another land
especially on jury duty day
to no avail
i lost my friend
to the latest pop up store
at the end of most days
when the journey’s done
i go home to my derelict
dog and two jaded kitties
with caffeine in one hand
Phoebe Ann the cat on my lap
the memories of my rest stops
deposited silently
in the removable data bank

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


Everywhere is my favourite place to sit and write.

Every weather notes made in the pad of my brain.

Sat on metal forms in cemeteries gusted by autumn, deep in leaf litter.

Sat on metal forms in towns while Dippers dip around, and shoppers hustle their lists into bags.

Sat in my garden as the pears blush with the last few days of rain,
ready for the fall and separation from their mam.

Sat at home in the leather armchair my muse curls up in my lap after a good scratch, her small heart taps and purrs a rhythm on my thigh.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

FYI: Paul Brookes, a stalwart participant in The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt, is running an ongoing series on poets, Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Connect with Paul if you’d like to be considered for an interview. Visit him, enjoy the interviews, get introduced to some poets who may be new to you, and learn a few things.

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

  •  Paul’s Amazon Page U.S. HERE
  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.K. HERE

More poems by Paul at Michael Dickel’s Meta/ Phore(e) /Play


A Strawberry-Red Sofa

Give me the warmth
of a padded sofa
where I can cat-curl
with pen and notebook.

I could ink my poems
at a mahogany bureau:
a gift from Mum and Dad
when I passed my 11-plus.

A place to read books
and write essays
for English homework.
The Haunted House.

A Rainy Night
and later, A-level critiques
of The Windhover
and The Wasteland.

I could replace
the bureau’s worn hinges
and search old words
locked in wood-memory.

But give me comfort
and today’s open page.
A family living room
with deep-pile rugs.

A strawberry-red sofa
with three plump cushions,
wide windows
onto my garden

and a view of treetops,
T.V. aerials, satellite dishes
and cotton-wool clouds
dreaming across the sky.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

To purchase Sheila’s little gem of a volume, Through My Father’s Eyes (review, interview, and a sampling of poems HERE), contact Sheila directly at she1jac@yahoo.com


The Rocking Chair

It gleams
genuine teakwood I’m told

so smooth

ideal for dreaming through a tv show
contemplating voices in my head
staring at finely worked saptaparni
leaves past a money plant
frothing the window ledge and
a white metal flash of car roof
reflected in the pumpkin soup
in my white ceramic spoon

and carved too

ideal for leaning into the pillowed
back, cancelling muscles and
joints completely

heavy-set

rocks gently
not the best place to work alert
at anything remotely productive
and yet it can be

durable

for I carry its numbing ease
through the day
enduring between thoughts
that flow between the glazed
slats imprinted on my mind

so durable

one day it’ll carry mine
without me

© 2019, Urmila Mahajan

Urmila’s site is: Drops of Dew


13 years ago I wrote….

“Don’t be scared of the empty chair.

Sit on it.

Don’t be scared of the empty chair.

Stand on it.

Don’t be scared of the empty chair.

Draw it”.

this chair has since been in exhibition; now one of my favourite chairs…..

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Old, young, he or she
Everyone shouts after me 😀
because everybody likes
happy to be
While you are human being so
Everyone should have a chair, a poem requests
Old, young, he or she
Everyone shouts after me 😀
We are human beings 😊

© 2019,, Pali Raj


ABOUT 

Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! , September * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Ours Poetica, a new tri-weekly video series from The Poetry Foundation and Complexly

Poetry Foundation Library Building in Chicago courtesy of Alanscottwalker under CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

“With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion.”  Edgar Allan Poe



The Poetry Foundation and Complexly announce Ours Poetica, a new tri-weekly video series that will capture the intimacy and physicality of holding a book while engaging with a poem read by a distinctive voice. Poet Paige Lewis, author of Space Struck, curates the series, and author, YouTube pioneer, and Complexly co-founder John Green, and creator, curator, and host of The Art Assignment, Sarah Urist Green, produce the new poetry-centric series. The series will launch with a live screening and discussion at the Poetry Foundation on September 12.

If you are reading this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely have to link through to the site to view this video trailer about Ours Poetica.

Ours Poetica, publishing at YouTube.com/OursPoetica every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, will provide an approachable entry point to poetry through a familiar format. The series will feature poets, writers, artists—and sometimes unexpected guests—who have an interest in poetry. Guests including Ashley C. Ford, Shailene Woodley, Erika L. Sanchez, Jacqueline Woodson, and Ilya Kaminsky will make poetry personal by reading a poem that is meaningful to them, and discussing their connection to it, or inspiration for it. Poems come first in Ours Poetica, as the videos will focus on the readers’ hands and the book or notepad from which they’re reading. This emphasis on the words and their placement on the page create an intimate space for viewers. The videos offer the opportunity to experience the poem through the reader’s point of view.

“There are many poetry videos online that focus on the reader’s expression, movement or performance. We saw an opportunity to present a complementary and fresh visual way to discover poetry by focusing on the words, the language, and the readers’ cadences,” said Paige Lewis, Ours Poetica curator. “It’s as if the viewer is holding the book in their own hands while hearing a poem read aloud.”

Lewis curates the featured guests and poem selections, aiming to engage new poetry readers, and poetry lovers, alike. The concept sparked from conversations with Complexly, an online video production company that makes popular educational series, including the channels Crash Course and SciShow, which tout more than 15 million subscribers and over a billion video views.

“Poetry is vital and relevant, however as a non-poet myself I understand how it can be viewed as intimidating or academic,” said John Green, co-founder of Complexly. “We wanted to break down this potential barrier, and create a show for people who love poetry, and even more so, for people who love poetry but don’t know it yet.”

Green, author of several novels including The Fault in Our Stars, and Turtles All the Way Down and star of Vlogbrothers, co-produces Ours Poetica with Sarah Urist Green creator and host of The Art Assignment. The duo’s expertise in reaching YouTube viewers and developing vibrant online communities will lend itself to bringing attention to poetry.

“We were drawn to partnering with Paige Lewis and Complexly on this project because we know a curious audience already exists on YouTube, and Ours Poetica can serve as a new discovery point to poetry,” said Sarah Whitcher, marketing and media director at the Poetry Foundation. “It’s a simple yet elegant execution of poem videos, and its approachability reinforces the Poetry Foundation’s belief that poetry is for everyone.”

The series kicks off with the Ours Poetica launch event on Thursday, September 12 at 7:00 PM at the Poetry Foundation at 61 W. Superior Street in Chicago with a reading, screening, and discussion with Lewis, Green, and special guest Kaveh Akbar.

Tri-weekly posting begins on Monday, September 16. For updates, subscribe and follow along on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

This feature is brought to us courtesy of The Poetry Foundation, Complexity, and Wikipedia, and Amazon.

Cover of the current issue of Poetry

About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in American culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs.

Follow the Poetry Foundation and Poetry on Facebook at facebook.com/poetryfoundation,  facebook.com/poetryfoundationchildren, Twitter @PoetryFound and @Poetrymagazine, and Instagram @PoetryFoundation.

About Complexly
Founded in 2012 by Hank and John Green, Complexly is the production company for Crash Course, SciShow, The Art Assignment, and a dozen other education video channels and podcasts. With a worldwide audience of 20 million subscribers and 2.4 billion views on YouTube, Complexly is one of the largest global online educational companies. We make content that reflects our own enthusiasm for understanding and imagining the world complexly.


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Five by Jamie Dedes, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)(July 2019)
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 11, 2019) / This short story is dedicated to the world’s refugees, one in every 113 people.

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Levure littéraireRamingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, HerStry, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale PressThe Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group / Beguines, pushers of The BeZine of which I am managing editor. Email me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions or commissions.

This

This is the work of Turkish Artist Uğur Gallenkuş. If you are viewing this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely have to link through to the site to view this video.